COLLEGE PARK – A 23-year-old graduating senior from Bowie State University who was a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in the United States Army was stabbed to death early Saturday morning at the University of Maryland (UMD) by a student who attends the College Park campus. The incident took place around 3 a.m. at a bus […]
COLLEGE PARK – A 23-year-old graduating senior from Bowie State University who was a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in the United States Army was stabbed to death early Saturday morning at the University of Maryland (UMD) by a student who attends the College Park campus.
The incident took place around 3 a.m. at a bus stop on Regents Drive just off of Baltimore Avenue, near Montgomery Hall.
At a press conference held Sunday night at the University of Maryland Police Department headquarters, Police Chief David Mitchell said Lt. Richard Collins, III was with two friends who attend UMD waiting for an Uber ride when 22-year-old Sean Christopher Urbanski of Severna Park, another UMD student, approached Collins screaming.
Authorities say witnesses related that Urbanski said “step left, step left if you know what’s best for you.” Collins refused, as Urbanski was still walking towards him, and Urbanski stabbed Collins in the chest. Collins was transported to Prince George’s Hospital Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead.
After stabbing Collins, Urbanski fled from the scene, but was apprehended by Prince George’s County Police within minutes at a bus stop only 50 feet from the incident.
“This was a random attack, unprovoked, and the two did not know each other,” Mitchell said. “It never gets any worse than this.”
Collins, who was from Owings, was to graduate from Bowie State on Tuesday and start his career with the United States Army.
“I just can’t believe this happened,” said Terri Dillon, a UMD student. “How can someone do this to another person?”
Mitchell said he is seeking help from the FBI to determine whether this was a hate crime because during their investigation, police discovered Urbanski, who is caucasian, is a member of a Facebook group called “Alt Reich Nation.” Collins was black.
“Suffice it to say that it’s despicable. It shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith and especially African Americans,” Mitchell said of the Facebook group, which has since been deleted.
Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said this department will assist campus police and step up patrols in the College Park area.
Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas, a spokesperson for the University of Maryland Police Department, said the department continues to be the lead investigating agency on the case. The FBI will be providing additional technical and digital forensics resources as needed.
Gordon Johnson, a special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Baltimore, said, “We are here to evaluate that as an ongoing concern with respect to whether or not this was a hate crime.”
Urbanski is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He’s being held without bond. His attorney has claimed Urbanski was intoxicated at the time of the attack.
On Sunday, University of Maryland President Wallace Loh invited students to join him in a moment of silence.
“I want to express our profound sorrow and anguish for this horrific tragedy,” he said.
Bowie State University held a candlelight vigil for Collins Monday night. Its administrators strongly condemned the attack as well.
“Hate has no place in America,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Artie Lee Travis. “Hate has no place on a college campus, where young minds are coming together to try to change the world.”
Elected officials are also expressing condolences to Collins’ family and condemning his murder.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, III released a statement with a heavy heart.
“Hate has no place in Prince George’s County,” he said. “It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I send our condolences to the family of Lt. Richard Collins, III. Lt. Collins was everything we want our youth to aspire to – selfless devotion to our nation and an individual who was willing to serve and sacrifice for our country’s safety and security. This murder has shocked and disturbed us all.”